Daily digest: Tadao Ando will turn Nintendo’s former headquarters into a hotel, the Cooper Union establishes a Black design collection, and more

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Daily digest: Tadao Ando will turn Nintendo’s former headquarters into a hotel, the Cooper Union establishes a Black design collection, and more

The Cooper Union's Foundation Building in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. (Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons, accessed under CC BY 2.0)

Good afternoon and welcome back to even more news and happenings from around the architecture and design world. As we inch towards spring, here are some of the day’s top stories to help you thaw out.

Nintendo’s former Japanese headquarters will reopen as a hotel next month

The former headquarters of Nintendo in Kyoto, Japan, will get a new lease on life next month thanks to Tadao Ando. The building will become home to the Marufukuro Hotel starting April 1, and previously hosted the video game giant from 1933 to 1959, when the company was still selling playing cards. The 18-room hotel has reused as much of the building’s original art deco flourishes as possible, and most of the exterior has been left intact.

H/t to Dezeen

Thanks to a gift, the Cooper Union establishes a Black graphic design collection

The Cooper Union has announced the creation of a new collection dedicated exclusively to Black graphic designers, made possible thanks to a gift from Cheryl D. Miller. A writer and graphic designer, Miller founded the New York-based Cheryl D. Miller Design Inc. in 1984 and has worked with major companies including Chase, BET, NASA, and many more. Miller herself will donate more than 50 of her original pieces to the collection and hopes that it will spur more Black students to pursue design careers.

Michael Graves Architecture acquires Maryland’s Waldon Studio Architects

Michael Graves Architecture (MG) has acquired the Maryland-based Waldon Studio Architects (WSA) effective today, March 8, and will integrate the firm to shore up its faith-based projects portfolio, as well as healthcare and education. Founded in 2003, WSA is a full-service architecture, planning, and interiors studio.

“When approaching this acquisition, we set out looking for a company with a deeply rooted set of core values that we share, and we knew right away we had found this in Waldon Studio Architects,” said Joe Furey, president and CEO of MG. “Our teams not only complement each other in our design approach and deep market sector knowledge, but also through our shared values, particularly in our devotion to innovation, commitment to quality, and unwavering client service.”

An Italian hotel reopens after restoration with a suite of Gio Ponti furniture

Borgo Santandrea, a 1960s-era cliffside hotel on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, has reopened after a sweeping 4-year renovation with all new finishes and Gio Ponti-designed furniture. Led by architect Rino Gambardell, the midcentury modern approach to the interiors places views of the nearby ocean front and center, framing the natural vistas through grand arches and wide windows.

H/t to Wallpaper

The Smithsonian becomes the latest institution to repatriate Benin Bronzes

The Smithsonian Institution is the latest museum to repatriate bronze artifacts looted from Nigeria, and will reportedly return “most” of its 39 object collection. The Smithsonian will pay for the transportation of the artifacts, which range from sculptures to plaques, back to Nigeria, with some remaining on long-term loan in Washington, D.C., as the country takes over stewardship (and final say) of the bronzes. Other pieces of potentially looted art and human remains are also on the table for return after a report was released by the institution’s Ethical Returns Working Group, but the Smithsonian’s board will need to approve any deaccessioning first.

H/t to Artnet News